Watch 1960s colour footage of The Velvet Underground performing in Andy Warhol’s film
Today we give you a piece of The Velvet Underground history. Unearthed but recently removed from YouTube, it is the only known footage of the band performing live in colour and filmed by pop artists and cultural tyrant Andy Warhol.
A recent description in the previous YouTube clip has shed some light on the film—before it was taken down—which sees Lou Reed and the band perform some classic tracks for all the VU fans.
“This newly unearthed film, which Warhol shot during a concert at the Boston Tea Party, features a variety of filmmaking techniques. Sudden in-and-out zooms, sweeping panning shots, in-camera edits that create single-frame images and bursts of light like paparazzi flashbulbs going off mirror the kinesthetic experience of the exploding plastic inevitable, with its strobe lights, whip dancers, colourful slide shows, multi-screen projections, liberal use of amphetamines, and overpowering sound,” the description reads.
It continues: “It is a significant find indeed for fans of the Velvets, being one of only two known films with the synchronous sound of the band performing live, and this the only one in colour. It’s fitting that it was shot at the Boston Tea Party, as the Beantown club became one of the band’s favourite, most-played venues, and was where a 16-year-old Jonathan Richman faithfully attended every show and befriended the group.
“Richman, who would later have his debut recordings produced by John Cale, and later yet record a song about the group, is just possibly seen in the background of this film.”
The performance is made up of an eight-song setlist with the likes of ‘I’m Waiting For The Man’, ‘Heroin’, ‘Venus In Furs’, ‘Sister Ray’ and more making the cut.